Arabian Gazelle - Gazella arabica

Kingdom Animalia (Animals)

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Phylum Chordata (Chordates)
Class Mammalia (Mammals)
Order Artiodactyla (Even-toed ungulates)
Family Bovidae (Bovids)
Subfamily Antilopinae (True Antelopes)
Genus Gazella (True Gazelles)
Species Gazella arabica
Authority (Lichtenstein, 1827)
TSEW Status Extinct (EX), Year assessed: 2010
IUCN Status Data Deficient  (DD), Year assessed: 2008
English Name Arabian Gazelle
Chinese Name 阿拉伯瞪羚
Dutch Name Arabische Gazelle, Farasangazelle
French Name Gazelle d'Arabie
German Name Arabische Gazelle

Gazella arabica arabica (Lichtenstein, 1827)


The American Museum of Natural History's Committee on Recently Extinct Organisms (CREO) regards this as an unresolved extinction due to uncertainties surrounding the validity of the taxon. However, zoologists like Rod East, say that this gazelle was apparently a distinct species and nothing like it is known to exist today. (Mallon, 2003) Grubb (2005), following Groves (1996), included the Queen of Sheba's Gazelle Gazella bilkis in Gazella arabica, but this arrangement has no genetic basis and is not followed here.


The Arabian Gazelle was considered Extinct by the Antelope Specialist Group (East et al. 1996). MacPhee and Flemming (1999) disagreed with the Extinct categorisation on the grounds of taxonomic uncertainties about the validity of the species. The 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has reassessed this gazelle as Data Deficient (DD), because the precise identity of the type (and only) specimen is unclear, as well as its relationship to others members of the genus Gazella (IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008). Given the distinctiveness of the taxon, and the fact that no further information has come to light, Extinct is considered to remain the most appropriate category according to The Sixth Extinction website.


The general colour of the Arabian Gazelle is lighter than in the next race, with the dark flank-band obsolete.

Range & Habitat

The type specimen is listed as originating on Farasan Islands, but its origin there has been disputed (Mallon, 2003). The Farasan Islands are a large archipelago in the Red Sea, belonging to Saudi Arabia. It is located some 40 km offshore from Jizan, in the far southwestern part of the Saudi Arabia.

Image: map showing the Farasan Islands, the possible previous range of the Arabian Gazelle (in red). Created by Peter Maas for The Extinction Website. This image has been released under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 3.0 Licence.

History & Population

This gazelle is known only from a single male specimen in the Berlin Museum, apparently collected in 1825 and attributed to the Farasan Islands in the Red Sea. However, there is some doubt as to whether the specimen in fact originated from the Farasans and its former distribution and status may never be known (Mallon and Kingswood 2001). Skull characteristics distinguish the specimen from all other gazelles, and the gazelle that now occur on the Farasan Islands, the Farasan Gazelle Gazella gazella farasani, is a subspecies of the Mountain Gazelle Gazella gazella. (Mallon, 2003)

Museum Specimens

Only one specimen is known, which is located in the Berlin Museum, Germany. (Mallon, 2003)


The Queen of Sheba's Gazelle (Gazella bilkis), an extinct gazelle from Yemen, might be a subspecies of the Arabian Gazelle (Groves, 1997). The closest living relatives are the Mountain Gazelle (Gazella gazella), Dorcas Gazelle (Gazella dorcas), Neumann's Gazelle (Gazella erlangeri), Speke's Gazelle (Gazella spekei), and the Indian Gazelle (Gazella bennettii). The Saudi Gazelle (Gazella saudiya) from the Arabian Peninsula and the Red Gazelle (Eudorcas rufina) from North Africa are other species of gazelle that became extinct recently.


Arabian Gazelle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Groves, C.P. (1996) Taxonomic Diversity in Arabian Gazelles: The State of the Art. In: Greth, A., Magin, C. and and Ancrenaz, M. Eds. Conservation of Arabian Gazelles. National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development, Riyadh. Available at:

Groves, C. P. 1997. The taxonomy of Arabian gazelles. National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development, Riyadh. Publications, 29:24-51.

Grubb, P. 2005. Order Artiodactyla. In Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. 3rd edn. Eds D.E. Wilson & D.M. Reeder. John Hopkins University Press, Maryland.

IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Gazella arabica. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. <>. Downloaded on 25 December 2008.

Mallon, D.P. 2003. Gazella arabica. In: IUCN 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. <>. Downloaded on 09 March 2006.

Mallon, D.P. and Kingswood, S.C. (compilers). 2001. Antelopes. Part 4: North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Global Survey and Regional Action Plans. SSC Antelope Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Citation: Maas, P.H.J. (2010). Arabian Gazelle - Gazella arabica. In: TSEW (). The Sixth Extinction Website. <>. Downloaded on .
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Updated: 26 December 2010


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